Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Phoctober the twenty-fourth

I suppose these shots have more in common with last week's arches than anything else. They're all about texture.

The tree stands in the courtyard behind the Arts Center at my former college. I was in the area the other day, and thought I'd stop by.

Everything looked pretty much the same. I found the sameness slightly spooky. Things are supposed to change, aren't they. I drifted through the corridors of the place where I once performed in nine different shows in the span of a single year, roamed the backstage areas where the tech crew still build the sets, where the dressing rooms are.

In the courtyard, I was a part of two consecutive summers ('93 and '94) of outdoor Moliére plays, presented in a big and bawdy modern style, except with the Commedia dell'arte masks. I think I had to run around like a madman in black robes and a paper mâché mask in the summer heat both years. There may have been sweat involved. The shows were directed by the man at the helm of my current show.

Standing there, I felt a little like Billy Pilgrim, tripping through my own life at random.

The day was cloudy and prone to fits of rain. I was sleep-deprived and going with it, allowing the clouds and the weird sensation of fled youth I got walking the familiar halls to shift me into a shade of melancholy. Not a "boo-hoo" melancholy, something else. Something electric and almost good.

Our "portable" stage for the Moliére (we wanted it to look like we were a traveling troupe, and our set was an enormous wagon) was right in front of one of these extraordinary trees. There were occasions on which I had to use the tree to catch me as I leapt from the second level of the stage to get to the ground in time to pretend to be someone else in a blink of an eye.

Leaping off of things to become someone else in the blink of an eye. Anything, of course, is possible when you are 20. Lately, I find myself at a place where anything seems possible again. Perhaps my youth has not fled so far as I'd feared.

Anyway, on with the pictures...


Other Phoctobering:

All Phoctober posts from this site.

Minx in Strange Town.

Absolute Vanilla finds beauty at the harbor.

Gaye gets meta.

Taffiny on wet flowers.

Meloney Lemon captures a homemade musical instrument and its creator.

Basest discovers new life while parking.

It isn't too late to join the fun. Just do a photo post, mention Phoctober, and come and tell me about it in the comments.


Taffiny said...

Love the line, the day was cloudy and prone to fits of rain.
I like the writing, nostalgia but with the meaning time adds to looking back, and then pulling it forward into your now, and looking ahead. The mood of the piece.

Tree scares me a bit, looks neat, but also dangerous. Has it ever eaten anyone? How about strange disappearances on that campus? Looks like a giant upside down spider, or landlocked octopus. Now I am thinking of the tree in poltergeist. Oh wait, you have fond memories of this tree, good tree, lovely tree, don't come attack me in my dreams wonderful good tree.
Very nice shots of nice tree.

Michelle | Bleeding Espresso said...

I love shots of trees. Can always find something new, a place that shows that the tree has yet another story to tell--and the black and white really brings that out. Gorgeous.

I posted some more pups today; I promise it'll be the last for a while ;)

Anonymous said...

If trees could only talk, aye? :) They are amazing organisms, aren't they. Those are some brilliant shots, Maht. I love trees with a multitude of main offshoots.

Recently, I was in the lower part of my state, when I came across an ancient tree that looked like the number "4". One main branch seemed to defy the power of gravity by going horizontal and then vertically slanting back towards the main trunk.

I have several phoctober post up today, in order to make up for my slackness. Thanks. :)

Unknown said...

Brilliant shots, Maht and they work so well in black and white.
Whaddayamean about your youth fleeing, by my calculation that makes you about 34... a mere spring chicken. Trust me.

Unknown said...

Oh PS, I've phoctobered with roseplicity :-)

Lane Mathias said...

Ooh - a rekindling of youthful enthusiasm and scary trees. Great stuff:-)

Anonymous said...

If he's 34, then I'm older than him. Geezz....I'm gettin' old. :)

Unknown said...

Pack it in, boys, and live in the moment - age is nothing, as the trees will tell you.

Gayé Terzioglu said...

Oh! love them love them love them. I'd give you a big hug now, if I could.
And thank you, Maht, so much for the Phoctober magic, I am thinking next year I will take photos each and every day of the Phoctober.
At any age, we are as young or old as we feel. I sometimes feel it's too late for me to do something. Luckily I am somehow put back on track as quickly as I got off it.

Gayé Terzioglu said...

PS: Can't be thinking about being old in our 30ies, 40ies 50ies or 60ies can we?
Went to see Young @ Heart show "Road to Nowhere" in Dublin, just a few weeks ago. It was brilliant! Made me happy, made me cry, made me think, made me feel incredibly passionate about life.

The Moon Topples said...

Taffiny: Sorry I frightened you. I'm scared of spiders myself, but I find these trees just gorgeous.

Sognatrice: Thanks! I cheated a little and added a slight amount of film grain in Photoshop to bring out the textures and the contrast even more. Normally I keep the Photoshop tweaking to a minimum, but these just begged for some special treatment.

Jefferson: I saw the bountiful Phoctobering. I assume you did this to make the linking more difficult, but I conquered it. Would love to see the 4 tree sometime.

AbVan: Perhaps I should have more carefully delineated the distinction between feeling old and not feeling youthful. I don't think 34 is old at all, really, but I would have to admit not feeling particularly young either. And the roses are quite nice.

Lane: Thanks very much. I see you find the trees scary as well. Hmmmm.

Jefferson: You are indeed older than me, I suppose. Um, sorry?

Minx: I suppose I'm glad I didn't consult with you before I posted. I could easily have indulged myself with some heavy-handed ruminations on trees and time had I thought of it. I might have gone on forever...

Gaye: I look forward to seeing you more involved with the next Phoctober. The few who have done this nearly every day have really sort of touched me, as the whole participation from other blogs angle was just a really pleasant afterthought to the initial idea. I can see now that the month would have felt like an eternity without you guys coming along and pitching in.

As for the age thing, I suppose it's all relative. I guess I was just feeling a certain way at the moment, and writing about that moment.

Taffiny said...

Ugh, I don't want to be older than Maht either!

True what Minx said, I imagine age is nothing, for a tree. :)

Sameera Ansari said...

Lovely black & white snapshots.

Those patterns on the wood look as if someone chiseled them patiently,bit by bit,over these years.Those many branches emerging from a single point,reminds me of a confluence of rivers.Thoughts are endless but words are few...

Keep it up!

Unknown said...

I think I REALLY like your texture shots Maht. I think I could even forsake my blank wall to a couple of those shots ;)